CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
South Africa’s Department of Justice and
Constitutional Development (DJCD) on Wednesday introduced a hate
speech bill to Parliament in a bid to accelerate the process of
criminalizing both hate crime and hate speech.
Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services heard
that the Prevention and Combatting of Hate Crime and Hate Speech
Bill seeks to address the increasing number of incidents
motivated by prejudice, in the forms of hate crime and hate
speech, and to assist people who are victims of such crimes,
Committee Chairperson Mathole Motshekga said in a statement
emailed to Xinhua.
The Bill also puts
in place measures to prevent and combat these offences,
appreciates the urgency of the matter, nonetheless MPs would
first like to consider the matter for greater clarity, before it
decides on the way forward, Motshekga said.
The Bill makes it a
hate crime if a person commits any recognized offence under the
law, referred to as the “base crime or offence,” if the
commission of that offence is motivated by prejudice or
intolerance on the basis of one or more characteristics or
perceived characteristics of the victim, as listed in the Bill.
Under the Bill, the
offence of hate speech is created and makes provision for any
person who intentionally publishes, propagates or advocates
anything or communicates to one or more persons in a manner that
could be reasonably construed to demonstrate a clear intention
to be harmful, or to incite or to promote or propagate hatred
based on several categories.
These include, among
others, age, albinism, birth, color, culture, disability, ethnic
or social origin, gender, HIV status, language, nationality and
The Bill also allows
for exclusions, such as freedom of the press and other media,
freedom to receive or impart information or ideas, freedom of
artistic creativity, academic freedom and freedom of scientific
Motshekga said that
as introduced by the DJCD, should a person be convicted of hate
crimes, the Bill provides for the courts to impose sentencing,
including imprisonment, periodical imprisonment, a fine and
correctional supervision, depending on the base crime.
In terms of hate
speech, the Bill makes provision for imprisonment for a period
not exceeding three years in the case of a first conviction, or
a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years in
the case of a subsequent conviction, Motshekga said.
The Bill does not
provide for alternatives such as restorative justice, he said.
“South Africans will
be pleased with the Bill, particularly in light of the
increasing intolerance South Africa has witnessed recently,”
The South African
cabinet approved the Bill in March following the resurgence of
racism in the country.
The latest case
involves former real estate agent Vicki Momberg who was
sentenced to an effective two years in prison by the Randburg
Magistrate’s Court in Johannesburg in March this year for her
racist tirade in 2016.
In a video clip that
went viral, Momberg could be heard complaining about the
“calibre of blacks” after an alleged smash-and-grab incident in
South Africa African Parliament
resolves to undertake
full inquiry into naturalization of Gupta family
CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
South African MPs stressed the need on Wednesday
to undertake a full inquiry into the naturalization of the
controversial Indian Gupta family embroiled in allegations of
A final decision in
this regard will be made later in the year, Parliament’s
Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs said in a statement emailed
The committee had
expected to make a decision on Wednesday, but was informed that
the Parliamentary Legal Services needed more time to gather
further information that will guide the decision to hold the
“In principle, the
decision to hold a full inquiry still holds and what the
committee is awaiting is comprehensive information on the
matter,” Committee Chairperson Hlomani Chauke said.
required is with the Department of Home Affairs and dates back
to the initial application in 1995.
The report will also
include recommendation on the format that the inquiry must take,
according to Chauke.
“We will receive
this report during the next session of Parliament, which is
scheduled for August 2018,” said Chauke.
The gathering of
information will also include verification of corporate social
responsibility initiatives that the Gupta family provided to
support their application for early naturalization under
exceptional circumstances, he said.
remains committed to dealing with the matter and laying bare all
processes that were undertaken to ensure that all procedures
within the department were followed, Chauke said.
The wealthy Guptas,
which allegedly keep close ties with former President Jacob Zuma
and his family, have been accused of looting from the state
coffers in collaboration with Zuma and a number of senior
government officials, known as state capture. But both Zuma and
the Guptas have denied the charges.
South African police
have launched a manhunt for some of the Gupta family members,
whose whereabouts remain unknown.
The Department of
Home Affairs is accused of granting citizenship to the Guptas
through undue procedure.
The Guptas, who
entered South Africa in the early 1990s, were naturalized
between 2002 and 2006.
South African president briefed
on preparations for 2019 general elections
CAPE TOWN South Africa (Xinhua) --
The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)
on Wednesday briefed President Cyril Ramaphosa on preparations
towards the sixth national and provincial elections due in 2019.
At the meeting in
Cape Town, the IEC indicated some of the areas that need to be
addressed before the next election, including outstanding
boundary disputes, the tabling of the Electoral Laws Amendment
Bill and the capturing of outstanding addresses on the voters’
roll, presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko said.
“The IEC is
nevertheless confident of yet another successful, credible, free
and fair election on the date to be proclaimed by the
President,” Diko said.
encouraged by the work being done by the IEC and calls upon all
South Africans to check their voter registration details,
particularly their addresses on the voters roll, to ensure that
all eligible voters are able to cast their vote in the next
election, said Diko.
will be held in South Africa in 2019 to elect a new National
Assembly and new provincial legislatures in each province. They
will be the sixth elections held since the end of apartheid in
1994, and the second election held since the death of
anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, the first black president in
This election will
result in the selection of the next President of South Africa.
Under South Africa’s
Constitution, the National Assembly and provincial legislatures
shall have a term of five years and that elections must be held
within 90 days of the end of term. The last general elections
were held on May 7, 2014.
became president in February replacing Jacob Zuma, will lead the
ruling African National Congress (ANC) in the election to retain
majority status and a full term in office as president.
Alliance (DA), the main political opposition party, is
potentially in a good position to become a challenger for power.
The ANC is fighting
to regain ground after it emerged quite bruised from the 2016
local government elections, losing the key metropolitan
municipalities of Pretoria, Johannesburg and Nelson Mandela Bay
where it dominated since 1994.
South Africa holds investment
show to attract Chinese investment on SEZs
JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) --
South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Trade and
Industry Bulelani Magwanishe has led an investment road show in
China in a bid to attract Chinese investment for South Africa’s
special economic zones (SEZs).
The South African
Department of Trade and Industry said on Wednesday that the
Chinese business community showed some interest in the country’s
SEZs during the road show which was held in Shanghai this week.
“The trip presented
officials from our SEZs with a golden opportunity to interact
directly with the Chinese companies and present to them the
value-propositions of our special economic zones,” said Ikhraam
Osman, CEO of Free State Development Corporation.
“There is a
logistics company that showed interest in investing in the SEZ.
This was the first contact and it means we need to have
follow-up meetings to exchange more technical information that
will assist them to make a decision about investing in our SEZ,”
The South Africans
briefed their Chinese counterparts on the country’s special
economic zones and the opportunities and incentives, said Osman.
executive for the North West-based Platinum Valley SEZ, Davis
Sadike, said that the trip was successful, and that the trip
made him understand the success of the Chinese SEZ model and how
it led to the country’s economic growth.
with the Chinese companies gave us a better understanding of
their needs when it comes to investment in foreign projects,”
“We managed to share
specific information of our SEZ with two companies who are
operating in the renewable energy and locomotives sectors,” said
“A good foundation
has been laid for us to explore future discussions with these
companies and others that we met,” said Sadike.